Update on the Family Re-org Project

Sharon January 23rd, 2012

Well, somewhere in late December and early January I kind of petered out, I have to admit.  There was this viral thing, and then we had guests, and then I had four kids 4-1 for five days, and then a stomach thing, and then Eric went back to work.  But I’m doing better with it - here’s what I actually did:

1. I did empty out the pantry room and move things into the extra little kitchen or in our room.  Unfortunately, my room is still a mess.  That’s on tomorrow’s project list.  But we do have that guest room back, which is good, because the thermostat is in there, and during the coldest periods, keeping the door closed in there gets a little scary (also the furthest spot in the house from the stoves).

2. I sorted out some of the games and also cleaned out the game closet - I didn’t get rid of all the boxes, mostly because the kids were concerned they couldn’t see what games we actually have that way.  Still mulling over how to do it.

3. Got my stash of goods for sudden arrivals of foster kids somewhat depleted by the group of four, but this prompted me to do much more sorting and organizing and keep better lists of what I need and don’t need - I’ve now got enough girl clothes in most sizes that I can look for specifics when I go thrift shopping , which is useful, because now I know I need warm pajamas,  sweaters and leggings and bathing suits for girls and cloth diapers for babies, but not necesarily pants and t-shirts in most sizes.  Was able to get through five days with 4 kids without shopping for anything but diapers and formula - which is really good, since I had no time to do any of those things ;-) .  Sorted and reorganized the laundry room, put all the boys’ old clothes away in better-organized fashion.  Sorted out shoes (also often needed on the fly - kids almost always come in too-small shoes, because hey, shoes are expensive) and winter gear (same as shoes).

4. Did nothing with garage, but trained dogs to sleep in the house in cold weather.  Hey, you win some…

5. Reorganized the kids’ room - mostly.  They have mostly unorganized it by now ;-) .

I need to do a major kitchen reorganization next, and also my seed and gardening supplies.  That, and some infrastructure (electrician here now for rewiring that has needed doing for ummm….a long time, plumber coming soon for similar problem…), including better gates for the bottom of the stairs and the wood cookstove will just make life a lot easier.  I also am doing more cooking ahead and storing some kid-friendly meals so that when we suddenly go through the sharp learning curve of getting to know new kids, we don’t have to rush around cooking or order pizza.

How about you?  Did you get your projects done?  Got any new ones?


10 Responses to “Update on the Family Re-org Project”

  1. T says:

    Sharon, I’m not sure if you follow XKCD, but today’s comic made me think of you (especially the rollover): http://xkcd.com/1007/.

  2. Nicole says:

    RE: the games — can you cut out the name & logo from the box and put it in the bag? Instant recognition. Or perhaps post them all on a bulletin board so they can “browse” the game selection.

    As part of my personal re-org (planning for a change of household composition), I moved all the “house” tools and tool chests out of the garage and into the mechanical room in the basement, and set aside parts & things I didn’t need to go to Habitat for Humanity. That was a workout! Thank goodness for empty kitty litter buckets. Most of what is left in the garage now is garden and yard tools and supplies that will go into a shed when I get around to building it this spring. Then I just have to do something with the bikes and TWO cars can park securely in the garage and as a bonus, I don’t have to trek all the way from the orchard or garden to the garage to get a shovel or hoe.

    I defrosted, cleaned and inventoried the freezer and have been adding to my storage.

    I replaced the sink, faucet, etc. in the kitchen so now it’s 100% functional for cooking and cleaning instead of the rinky-dink bar faucet and sink the previous owners installed.

    Outside, I finished the landscaping that was planned for the fall and winter and even weeded *everything* yesterday and cleaned the freezer-burnt plants out of the garden that just can’t quite take full winter. The trees got sprayed last weekend and need to be sprayed again this weekend since they are budding out.

    My seeds also got reorganized into two boxes instead of one and I am germination testing the oldest seeds before seed swapping or giving them away. (These are the varieties that didn’t work for me. Anyone want to swap care packages of failures?)

    Spring is almost upon us here, and this year I think I’m going to be ready instead of rushing around!

  3. amanda says:

    I have to dig them out of my attic hand me down bins- but I have some cloth diapers and covers (motherease mostly, thirsties covers) that I can send your way.
    How can I touch base with you to get your address?

  4. Lonni says:

    Reorganization is my middle name … Christmas vacation was my opportunity to muck out my grown son’s bedroom, turned into a she-devil annex by my teenaged daughter and thoroughly trashed by all. I was saddened by all the discarded electronic gear I uncovered, but glad to take it to be reused elsewhere (Nintendo, Playstation 2, the usual.)

    Now the room is set up to be a permanent guest bedroom/library/exercise center. Teenaged daughter and cats are banned. It’s so nice now that I would like to spend more time there myself … because my bedroom is still a cluttered mess! Next project!

  5. NM says:

    We replaced a nearly 20-year old carpet that was in very poor shape, which necessitated removing everything from the living room, which led to a round of decluttering and cleaning. Still in the process of putting everything back …
    I’m experimenting with a potato water yeast starter, and finding it something of a learning curve, but husband is raving about the bread, which is quite enjoyable (the raving, that is. Well, the bread, too. ;} ). Have set a goal of not buying any baked goods this year (broken already, but doing well for the most part) and buying as little flour as possible; we are mostly grinding our own.
    Made homemade laundry soap for the first time (pay cut led to the necessity to cut expenses) … very pleased with it so far. Looking for a more natural, but non sudsing replacement for the Fels Naptha soap in it, however.
    Dogs helpfully made up for any savings by getting into cold medicine and having to taken to the vet for stomach pumping. Well, you lose some, too … just deeply thankful not to have lost the dogs. (Makes vow to never, ever leave anything anywhere they can possible manage to get into it again. Although how the hell they managed to get hold of that I do not know.).
    Sewed some kitchen towels; liked them so much I have vowed to make my own from now on. They do, however, need ironing, which the terry cloth ones don’t … somehow I have a knack for making more work for myself. … Napkins are next on the list, since a number of them are wearing out.
    Next project, washing some wool and turning it into wool pillows, since we need to replace our several-years-old pillows. Hooray for parents who sheared sheep and just stuck the wool in the barn to age for a decade or so. Lucky me! I am quite excited about this project, especially after pricing organic wool pillows, and organic wool stuffing.

  6. Denys Allen says:

    Family worked together to declutter our guest bedroom/hobby room. Too many piles of fabric and half done projects to count, are now organized by person so we can pick them up and do them in these wintry afternoons.

    Organized the pantry and storage and took inventory.

    Order the seeds (Seed Savers) and they arrived last week. Woo-hoo! Have new trees and shrubs ordered too for delivery in April.

    Games idea - we have many games too and we left them in the boxes. We only have out at any time 1/3 of them (that’s what fits on the shelves) and the rest are in the attic in boxes. Twice a year, we go into the attic and pull out “new” ones, and rotate them with the “old” ones. We like keeping the boxes because some our old ones from the 70′s and we all get a giggle looking at the old boxes and the slogans on them.

  7. AnnMarie Johnson says:

    A riff on Nicole’s idea-put the box pieces on the wall or a sheet of cardboard or such so that they can look at everything at once.

  8. Claire says:

    I went through the shelf full of binders with old seminars from past employment and other collections of saved materials. Decided what I wanted to keep and what is no longer of use. Of the not-useful materials, recycled all paper printed on both sides, set aside paper printed on one side and the binders themselves for later use. That gave the DH half of a bookshelf for him to expand onto.

    Went through my books, culled out some that I no longer wanted to keep, gave them to a local charity for potential resale at their thrift stores.

    Went through file cabinets, recycled old magazines I no longer want to keep. Recycled or set aside for reuse papers from some file folders of no-longer-relevant subjects. Put some binders from the binder reorg project that contain info I want to keep in the cleared-out space in the file cabinets.

    Recycled gardening catalogs from 2011 as 2012 catalogs arrived. Went through seed and plant catalogs, ordered seeds and plants for this year.

  9. MEA says:

    Cleaned the downstairs bathroom/cat supply room becuase sewer line backed up.

    Not the way I wanted to do it, but hey, you take what you can get.

    I can see why Sharon had little time to post.

  10. Cassandra says:

    Slowly turning the never used sewing room into the seed room. We do have enough seed to warrant it. I sat at the desk in there and sorted out last fall’s seed harvest, felt very nice. The seeds are now sorted into their containers ready for selling with my seed set aside for the next planting as well as the amount for the local seed bank. Littlest ds and I did a lot of decluttering in that room and only have the yarn stash left to go through. Yeah us!

    Next on the list is our old rec room that our oldest was living in until she left for the UK. It has tons of book cases that are a wreck and need sorting through. A lot of ‘girl in a hurry’ detritus to sort through too.

    For game storage I am leaning towards this: http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/2010/01/game-board-storage-art.html

    Most of my energy lately is used on homeschooling, planning the gardens, seed ordering, working, and knitting socks. It should be focused on planning for a course on seed saving that I am teaching at the local college but I am procrastinating…..

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